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Outdoor step lights

By March 21st, 2024No Comments

Walking in the dark can be hazardous, especially when navigating stairways. Adding lighting to your back patio’s doorstep or your balcony’s descending staircase enhances safety and allows you to tread more securely during evening ventures that would otherwise pose risks. Safety is paramount, but lighting serves a purpose beyond illuminating potential dangers. When implemented correctly, lighting creates a captivating atmosphere, adding an extra element of aesthetic pleasure. Light not only guides our path, but also creates an inviting entry. If you’re wondering whether you can add lighting to your existing outdoor stairway, the truth is that there is always a solution if you approach the design creatively. Most of the technical installations we undertake involve existing structures. Tread lights, post lights, down lights, and core lights are all effective approaches for stair lighting and valuable components of any outdoor lighting system.

Choosing the appropriate lighting technique for your stairs depends on how you utilize the space and the desired effect. Considering the intricacies involved, consulting with a professional may be a wise decision. Lighting and the ambiance it generates are not aspects everyone is accustomed to contemplating. Here are some methods to consider:

Tread/Recessed Lighting:

This involves installing lighting fixtures directly into the vertical face of the steps. Positioned in this manner, the light is cast downward onto the step beneath it, providing a soft and natural illumination. However, it requires cutting holes to accommodate each fixture, which can be challenging. Engaging a professional ensures proper installation and minimizes the risk of mistakes.

Down Lighting:

This technique creates a soft, moon-like wash over a specific area. Fixtures emitting a gentle wash light are mounted high up in trees or architectural structures. When directed onto a staircase, this type of lighting effectively illuminates the steps while maintaining a serene atmosphere. It’s important to note that for optimal results, fixtures may need to be positioned 30 feet or higher in the air. While ladders can be used to work at such heights, hiring a professional ensures safety during ladder work.

Path Lighting:

Often, step lighting is employed not only within staircases but also alongside widely spaced steps in descending or ascending paths. Path lighting serves to illuminate pathways and can also be utilized to light up the steps that may be present along the path.

Post Rail Lighting:

These fixtures are mounted on posts or railings of stairs and effectively illuminate the ground or steps below them. The installation and wiring of these fixtures can be technically challenging. It involves drilling and fishing, and mistakes such as drilling holes in the wrong location can have permanent consequences. Consulting with a lighting professional ensures the correct execution of this type of installation.

These installations demand precise placement and technical expertise, so it is essential to hire professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced. Improper mounting, incorrect wiring, or inaccurate aiming of fixtures can lead to unforeseen issues in the future.

Choose a Type: Step

Small step lights play a vital role in preventing missteps. They can be installed in various locations to enhance safety.

Choose a Type: Step Risers

These fixtures can be installed in risers, on a wall beside the stairway, or beneath the edges of the steps. They provide functional lighting while adding aesthetic appeal.

Choose a Type: Downlight

Placed high on a tree, downlights create a moonlight effect, softly illuminating stairways or stretches of path.

Surface Mount Step Lights & Hardscape Lights: Choosing the Perfect Lighting Solution for Your Project

Indoor spaces can exude brilliance and charm, but when stepping outside at night into a dark landscape, your clients miss out on the chance to elevate and illuminate their outdoor areas. To light up the outdoors, you have two excellent options to consider: Hardscape Lighting and our innovative 12V Integrated LED Surface Mount Step Lights. Each offers distinct advantages, making it essential to identify the right fit for your project.

Understanding Placement Considerations: The areas you wish to illuminate and the available space will influence which light source is better suited for your plan.

Surface Mount Step Lights: These lights are perfect for steps and stairs, prioritizing functionality and safety for clients moving around in the evening. They also work well on outdoor walkways, decks, patios with uneven steps, or any flat surface installation.

Hardscape Lights: These lights are ideal for areas with caps or lips, such as under a retaining wall cap, along handrails, or the edges of decks with a lip of 1″ or more. They excel in tight spaces, like stone or rock walls, fireplaces, and benches, enhancing the natural beauty of patios or outdoor kitchens.

Defining Your Desired Look: To achieve the desired lighting effect, consider whether your project requires direct light, a softer glow, or a combination of both.

Surface Mount Step Lights: These lights are meant to be a visible part of the landscape’s aesthetic appeal. They augment the overall decor and style while casting a directional glow of 6-24″, providing both direct lighting and an even glow.

Hardscape Lights: With a smaller profile, Hardscape Lights are designed to be incorporated into the structure, making them less conspicuous. They offer a broader glow, which can be adjusted based on their size and pivot capability. This allows for versatile lighting effects like wall grazing or wall washing to highlight architectural details.

Identifying Installation Requirements: While both lights are easy to install, the location within the outdoor space will dictate the appropriate choice.

Surface Mount Step Lights: Equipped with a helpful sticker template, these lights guide installation placement. Our new Surface Mount Step Lights eliminate the need for a junction box, simplifying the installation process. However, it’s essential to note that Surface Mount Lights can only be installed on hard, flat surfaces, making them unsuitable for rocky retaining walls or uneven brick steps.

Hardscape Lights: With a customizable mounting bracket featuring breakaway corner tabs, Hardscape Lights are convenient for retrofit applications. The bracket serves as an installation template, providing guidance for mounting off the bracket. These lights require a 1″ lip for placement underneath. They offer flexibility, as they can pivot 180 degrees when mounted directly to the surface or 270 degrees when installed with the mounting bracket, functioning as downlights or uplights.

A Word of Advice: To determine the perfect light for your client’s project, here’s a quick summary. Surface Mount Step Lights are ideal for flat surfaces where the fixture should be visible. On the other hand, Hardscape Lights are better suited when the light needs to blend into the architectural design. Whether you choose Surface Mount Step Lights or Hardscape Lights, our landscape lighting options are versatile and easy to install in various applications, ensuring correct installations every time.

George Gitau

Meet George, an advocate for traditional craftsmanship. I will provide you with educational content, techniques and ideas for your next garden and home improvement project. Together, let's create beautiful spaces that are not only beautiful but also functional

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